Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Chocolate and Hazlenut Cheesecake Cups!

Hi guys! I've got a quick, easy and very yummy dessert to share with you today! As you know, yesterday was my engagiversary, so Sean and I had a romantic little dinner for two :). We decided to try another Nigella Lawson creation for dessert and boy was it delicious! A perfect end to a perfect meal :). Here's a wee picture to get you drooling....

The recipe is roughly taken from Nigella's new Italian cookbook, Nigellisima! (thoroughly recommend this, everything looks gorgeous, gives you real cooking inspiration!).

Chocolate and Hazelnut Cheesecake Cups

Makes 2 cups

200g cream cheese
250g Nutella
Icing sugar to taste
4 chocolate biscuits
1 tbsp butter
chopped hazelnuts to top it off


1. Mix cream cheese, Nutella and as much icing sugar as you like until smooth.

2.Crush chocolate biscuits and mix with butter and place in the bottom of your chosen cups.

3. Top the base with your cream cheese mix and then scatter your hazelnuts on top.

4. Refrigerate until you can't wait any longer. (For us, about 2 hours!)

A yummy, easy recipe that would be perfect for showing off to your friends at a dinner party. The only problem is you always want more :). Hope you give this a go and let me know how you get on! Next up on the old blog, I should have my first fashion post, aaaah! Happy desserting,

Rachael xx.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Baking Bucket List 2013!

Hey Guys! Hope you all had a fantastic weekend! Mine was crazy busy from my car breaking down to bridesmaids dress shopping (no success, ggrrr!), I don't think my bum hit a chair all weekend :). So I'm here today with a wee list of ten treats that I am looking forward to baking in 2013. Such a big year for me so I though I would mark it with some exciting new bakes to try. So here they are, I'm really looking forward to giving these bad boys a go....

1. Red Velvet Cupcakes
2. Lemon drizzle cupcakes
3. Lemon meringue pie
4. Macaroons
5. Banoffie Cupcakes
6. Baked Alaska
7. Chocolate Eclairs
8. Banana Bread
9. Make my own chocolates
10. Black Forest Gateaux ( Sean's input, he's been begging me to make this for years!)

(This is just a wee pic of my fiancé, Sean and I when we first got engaged, a year ago today! Can't believe it's only  5 months until we are hubby and wife! Eeep I'm excited!).

So there you go! What do you think? I think the macaroons will be difficult, I've heard they can be notoriously tricky to get right. But it's all about trying new things and expanding my baking repertoire! If you want to have a list along with me, leave me a wee comment with your baked treats which you want to try, I would love to know what you guys like baking :)! I have some different posts coming up in the next few weeks, so stay tuned :), including a fashion-related post which is new for me, but hopefully you guys like it :). Happy Baking,

Love Rachael xx.

P.S. What do you think of the blog revamp? I think it's much more me :).

Monday, 18 February 2013

Crafty Project: Cute Tea Light Candle Holder

Hey lovely people! So my valentine's themed bake didn't go as planned with a lot of family illness occurring and distracting me, they turned out not so pleasant to eat! So I thought I would share my first crafty project. It is very simple and looks really cute on a mantelpiece on a chilly wintery night (every night in Northern Ireland). Here's a wee pic...

You will need....
an empty clean soup can
something sharp (knife, nail, skewer etc)
a tea light candle
How to make....
1. Fill can with water and put in the freezer.
2. When the water has frozen, get your sharp object and punch small holes in any pattern you would like. I used hearts for the valentines day theme.
3. Melt the ice inside. Insert a tea light candle, light it and enjoy a soft and pretty glow.
Hope you like this crafty project! It's a good way to recycle something that would otherwise be considered rubbish. Hope everyone had a nice valentine's day. Were you spoiled? I was but I had to work that evening which was a bit of disappointment. I will be back soon with another bake for you soon :) Much love,
Rachael xx.


Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Chocolate Guinness Cake = Yum!

Hey guys, second recipe of the day for you (I'm doing well today, It's my get things done and accomplished day!). So, I've heard people singing the praises of this cake but I was never too sure on the combination of chocolate and Guinness, I just thought that it can not possibly work, can it? Well let me tell you IT CAN!! This cake is my most favourite cake that I have EVER made, It is PERFECT!!! Sorry about all the capitals I'm just so excited and in love with it. I used the original Nigella Lawson recipe and didn't really change anything (for once ha!). Just imagine it, dark, chocolatey, moist and soft cake with a creamy vanilla cream cheese frosting, it's basically heaven right there :)! Here's a wee picture to wet your appetite for this recipe...

Nigella's Chocolate Guinness Cake!!!
  • 250 ml Guinness
  • 250 g unsalted butter
  • 75 g cocoa powder
  • 400 g caster sugar
  • 142 ml sour cream
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 275 Plain flour
  • 2.5 tsp bicarbonate of soda
For the Frosting...
  • 300 cream cheese
  • 150 Icing sugar
  • 125 ml double cream (or whipping cream)


Preheat the oven to 180°C, and butter and line a 23cm cake tin.

Pour the Guinness into a large saucepan, heat Guinness whilst melting in butter, when butter has  melted  whisk in the cocoa and sugar.

Beat the sour cream with the eggs and vanilla and then pour into the pan and finally whisk in the flour and bicarb.

Pour the cake mix into the greased and lined tin and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. Leave to cool completely in the tin on a cooling rack.

When the cake's cold, sit it on a cake stand.  Lightly whip the cream cheese until smooth, sieve over the icing sugar and then beat them both together. Add the cream and beat again until it makes a spreadable consistency. Spread this on the cake and dust with chocolate curls. Eat and eat some more, so you don't have to share it...hehe!

And there you go, one gorgeous cake done and ready to devour. I seriously recommend trying this beast of cake and also checking out some more of Nigella's recipes, she is pretty talented in the kitchen and is one of my favourite tv chefs :). I hope you give this a go and let me know what you think of it :). Next up I will have a lovely Valentine's themed bake to share with you but shhhh!! I don't want my fiancé finding out. Until then, Happy baking and much love,

Rachael xx.

Chocolate Orange Scones!

Hello friends! Sorry for the wee break again, ha! I'm not very reliable when it comes to this old blogging thing! Well, I have some delicious recipes for you today to make up for it. Firstly some chocolate orange scones. Here's a wee picture for you to drool over for a wee while :)....

These little baked beauties come to you courtesy of a very yummy recipe by the amazing Ellie Simmons. She won the comic relief bake off with these bad boys, don't you know, so they must be sensational! I haven't made very many scones before, just the white chocolate and strawberry scones which you can also read about on this blog! But I will definitely make these again, they were perfectly orangey with BIG dark chocolate chunks throughout, so scrummy. I also had some help with these from my lovely fiancé, he loved telling me not to knead the dough, haha! So here goes, give these wee boys a go and you won't be disappointed, Thank you Ellie!
Chocolate Orange Scones
700g self-raising flour
150g butter
150g caster sugar
2 large oranges, finely grated zest of both and juice of one orange
150g chocolate chunks ( I probably added a lot more than this!)
200ml milk, plus extra for brushing
1tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 210C. Lightly butter two baking trays.
Sift the flour into a bowl. Rub in the butter using your hands until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar, chocolate chunks and orange zest.
In a measuring jug, mix the milk with the juice of one orange. Add to the flour mixture gradually until the dough just comes together. Be careful not to overwork the scone dough.
Roll out the dough to approximately 2cm/1in thickness and cut out scones.
Transfer the scones to the buttered baking trays, brush the tops with milk and bake in the centre of the oven for 10-12 minutes, or until risen and golden-brown.
Remove from the oven and cool on wire rack.
These scones could be served with cream and clementines. My favourite way of serving would have to be with a big thick spreading of chocolate spread, just because I have serious chocolate addiction and I can never have too much :). Hope you are all having a nice week and baking lots of yummy treats! Please let me know if you have baked any of my goodies, I would love to know how they turned out! Next up I have a test run of Nigella's Chocolate Guinness cake.....watch this space!
Lots of Love,
Rachael xx.